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British and US firms frozen out of €13 billion European Defence Fund

Hopes by British defense firms to keep close links with the EU after Brexit were dashed on Wednesday after they were locked out of a new €13 billion European Defence Fund (EDF).

Designed to give EU governments greater “strategic autonomy” in defense procurement, the EDF aims to help European defense firms to research and develop indigenous technologies in areas such as cyber security and drone technology. Funds will be released from 2021-2027, including €4.1 billion for research and €8.9 billion for developing military capabilities.

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EU nations back retaliating against U.S. steel tariffs

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union countries on Thursday unanimously backed a plan to impose import duties on 2.8 billion euros ($3.3 billion) worth of U.S. products after Washington hit EU steeland aluminum with tariffs at the start of June, EU sources said.


The measures still need to be adopted by the European Commission, whose next scheduled meeting is June 20. They should be in place by late June or early July.

The European Commission has proposed setting 25 percent duties on U.S. goods such as orange juice, bourbon, jeans, motorcycles in response to what it is sees as illegal U.S. action affecting 6.4 billion euros of its exports.

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Europe's Fragile Unity Crumbles as Migration Quarrel Spills Over

Three summers after Europe’s biggest migration influx since World War II, the old wounds are reopening.

Lingering political tensions over the unresolved question of how to control immigration from outside Europe have now broken out into the open, and the fallout is reshaping alliances and stoking old rivalries from Rome to Berlin, Paris and Vienna.

The issue has returned most visibly in Italy, where Matteo Salvini, leader of the anti-immigrant League, lost no time in falling out with some close European allies over his decision to deny access to port for a refugee vessel. But it’s also forced uncomfortable decisions in Spain and is threatening Chancellor Angela Merkel, who faces renewed domestic turbulence over her open-door stance on migrants that could yet spell her early departure.

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Rethinking Wealth: it’s time to create the UK’s first Citizen’s Wealth Fund

For much of the 20th century there was a general trend towards greater wealth equality. That is now set in reverse, with wealth much more unequally distributed than incomes. How we can solve his crisis of wealth? This article, by Duncan McCann and Stewart Lansley, argues that the time is right for Citizens' Wealth Funds.

In the last few months, the question of wealth has been creeping onto the political agenda. A growing band of unlikely voices – from the IMF and the  OECD to, most recently, the former Conservative Cabinet member,  David Willetts – have called for an increase to taxes on wealth. Such calls would once have been dismissed as anti-rich and politically impractical; yet, today it appears that we are on the verge of a  long overdue debate on the UK’s growing mountain of personal and corporate wealth.

Wealth, and how it’s distributed, matters. High levels of wealth can be used to boost wider social and economic security. Personal wealth can encourage wellbeing. Publicly owned wealth provides the state – and wider society - with a stream of income while helping to offset national liabilities. Yet, little of the surge in wealth levels has been harnessed for the public good. In the last five decades, wealth holdings have grown at twice the pace of incomes. As a result, the UK wealth mountain stands at more than 6 times the size of the economy, up from 3 times in the 1960s. Despite this, younger generations have less wealth at each point in life than earlier generations; private wealth holdings, often unearned, are barely taxed.  

Much of this remarkable boost to personal fortunes since the 1970s is down to the application of immense and heavily concentrated financial muscle. A large chunk is simply down to inflating asset prices. Asset inflation may be good news for those sitting on massive wealth piles, but it is bad news for those with little or no wealth.

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